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Papushak v. Aramark Services, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio

October 24, 2017

KATHERYN PAPUSHAK, Plaintiff,
v.
ARAMARK SERVICES, INC., Defendant.

          OPINION & ORDER [RESOLVING DOCS. 9, 11, 12]

          JAMES S. GWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Katheryn Papushak moves to remand this case back to state court.[1] Plaintiff argues that the Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction because her claims arise under Ohio's workers' compensation laws.[2] Defendant Aramark Services, Inc. (“Aramark”) opposes Plaintiff's motion to remand.[3]

         For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's motion to remand.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On August 24, 2017, Plaintiff Papushak filed her complaint in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.[4] Plaintiff Papushak sues her former employer, Defendant Aramark, for its retaliation against her for having sought workers' compensation benefits.[5] Papushak says Aramark violates Ohio's workers' compensation statute.[6] Plaintiff's complaint alleges Defendant discharged her “because Plaintiff filed a claim and/or instituted, pursued or testified in a proceeding under the workers' compensation act.”[7]

         On September 27, 2017, Defendant Aramark removed the case to this Court by citing diversity jurisdiction.[8] On October 2, 2017, Plaintiff moved to remand this case back to state court.[9]

         II. DISCUSSION

         A defendant may remove “any civil action brought in a State court of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction.”[10]

         However, “[a] civil action in any State court arising under the workmen's compensation laws of such State may not be removed to any district court of the United States.”[11]

         Under Harper v. AutoAlliance International Inc., a civil action “arises under” a state's workmen's compensation laws when either “(1) the workmen's compensation law created the cause of action or (2) the plaintiff's right to relief necessarily depends on resolution of a substantial question of workmen's compensation law.”[12]

         Defendant argues that Ohio's workers' compensation laws did not create a cause of action for wrongful discharge due to filing or pursuing a workers' compensation claim.[13] Defendant also argues that Plaintiff's claim does not depend on or require any interpretation of the Ohio workers' compensation statute.[14]

         The Court disagrees with Defendant. Plaintiff's claim for retaliatory discharge due to filing and/or pursuing a workers' compensation claim arises under Ohio's workers' compensation laws.[15]

         The first Harper prong is satisfied. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 4123.90, Ohio's workers' compensation statute, created the cause of action.[16] Section 4123.90 specifically gives claimants a right and remedy for retaliatory discharge for filing or pursuing a workers' compensation claim.[17]The statute was also the first to recognize Plaintiff's cause of action. Ohio enacted the statute in 1986 before it recognized a general wrongful discharge tort in 1990.[18]

         The second Harper prong is also satisfied. Plaintiff's complaint alleges she was discharged because she pursued her rights under Ohio's workers' compensation statute.[19] As a result, the success of ...


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